Sometimes I actually search Google Images for things other than GIFs and pictures of athletes' extremely hot wives. Google Images has helped me with school projects, work, and proving my friends wrong on numerous occasions. Unless you're strictly using it for the latter, you're going to have to be aware of copyrights.
Creative Commons is an organization geared towards opening up the free usage of images, but when it comes to reusing some of the great images you find out there on the interwebs, things can get a little illega...er, tricky.
While Google has had the option to filter results by licensing for some time now, many users had no idea the option even existed. Using an image for your wallpaper or class essay probably won't lead to legal actions, but copyright owners are much more aggressive against online usage and re-blogging.
With that in mind, Google has made it much easier to search images using its Usage Rights filter, now located front and center in image options.
Now when you search for an image, you can select Search Tools to filter images based on their usage rights. Just click on the drop-down menu to view your options.
This makes reusing images a smoother, quicker, and safer process. If you want to repost an image on your site or blog, simply select "labeled for reuse" or "labeled for commercial reuse."
If you want to make a GIF out of a few images or create a meme, then you'd want to search under "labeled for reuse with modification" or "labeled for commercial reuse with modification."
For more information on Creative Commons on Google Images, or finding CC images through other outlets, check out our guide to "Finding Free Creative Commons Images and Other Media Online."
Now make sure to look up Jen Selter. You can thank me later.